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RefWorks at Trinity: Get Started +

This guide offers suggestions and guidance for using RefWorks, the library's online bibliographic management system. Special thanks to John Bonham at the University of Southern California Libraries for allowing us to use the USC guide as a template.


RefWorks is a Web-based citation manager that allows you to import references from online databases, web sites, or text files. You can use RefWorks to format a paper and a bibliography in seconds. (First time users should sign up for an individual account and select a username and password--see below.)

From computers connecting via wireless or off-campus, the Trinity University Group Code is required. The group code is RWTrinityU

RefWorks provides a Quick Start Guide and other learning tools on their website,

A listing of the RefWorks tutorials (available from the RefWorks Help menu) is provided here


Using RefWorks consists of four easy steps:

  1. Create an account by entering your subscriber information.
  2. Create a database by automatically importing data from online databases or by typing references in manually.
  3. Write a paper using Microsoft Word or a similar software. Insert the code for your citation (called a Temporary Citation Placeholder) in those locations you want to cite references. Save and close the file.
  4. From RefWorks click on Bibliography and select the paper you just saved and the output style in which you want it created.

Click on Create Bibliography and save the formatted document to disk.

Known Issues

Issue #1:  After importing a citation from JSTOR into RefWorks, the "Check for Full Text" link will not direct users to the full-text of the article. Currently, users will see a "We're Sorry" screen.  Use the search box on that page to locate your article in JSTOR.

Issue #2:  When citations are exported into RefWorks, they are all identified as "print" sources.  If you are using MLA citation style, there are striking differences between formats for citing print and electronic texts.  To change a citation's format from print to electronic...

   a.  Click on the "Edit" icon to the right of the citation.

   b.  Locate the "source type" options

   c.  Change the source type from print to electronic.

Issue #3:  When a citation is exported into RefWorks, the name of the database where the citation was originally located and the date that the citation was found are not associated with the citation.  To associate a citation with the database where it was located and the date that it was found...

   a.   Click on the "Edit" icon to the right of the citation.

   b.  Locate the "View Fields used by" option at the top of the "Edit Reference" window.  Choose "MLA 7th edition."

   c.  Scroll down to find the "Database" option. Include the name of the database where the citation was located.

   d.  The "Retrieved Date" option is located just below the "Database" option.  Format the date according to MLA rules (day month or month abbreviation year; ex. 21 Feb. 2010, 14 June 2009).